Major medical device manufacturer improves customer satisfaction and reduces operating expenses through its partnership with Quest International
The device manufacturer offers fully virtualized, Vendor-Neutral Archive (VNA) image content management solutions, and strives to provide its customers with the broadest possible choice of equipment options. Since the realization of the Affordable Care Act, the device manufacturer’s customers are increasingly looking for new ways to optimize their budgets by improving productivity and managing operational efficiency in maximizing their capital equipment investments by lengthening their replacement cycle. They also needed to provide repair services for their products in a timely and efficient manner. The company required an outsource partner that could provide on-site IT hardware support, as well as manage a depot test and repair program for field returned parts for their medical devices.
The first challenge the device manufacturer faced was efficiently servicing their customers’ Dell IT hardware for their Picture Archiving & Communication System (PACS) after the warranty ended. “Customers are hanging on to their assets for 2 to 3 years longer than they used to – often to beyond their end-of-life period,” said the VP of service & support operations, “At the same time, most equipment suppliers typically only offer five-year support contracts. We needed a way to meet our service-level agreements after those contracts expire.”
The second issue was the need to service their own medical devices. As the need for repair services increased, the device manufacturer experienced challenges in locating components, maintaining an inventory of end-of-life parts, waste management, and overall operational costs. Providing flexibility while supporting an extensive array of diagnostic imaging equipment had become increasingly challenging. Market contractions caused more customers to delay upgrades and replacements beyond the manufacturers’ service coverage periods. The challenge in maintaining lean parts inventory and supply chain sourcing added to a sharp increase in operating expenses, resulting in increased demand for repairs and services.
To meet these challenges, the device manufacturer required a blend of two distinct service types: an outsourced repair solution for their medical devices, and a 3rd party hardware support vendor to extend the service life of their customers’ IT equipment running their critical PACS solution.
The device manufacturer partnered with Quest International for their on-site hardware support to provide IT service and repair expertise to increase the longevity of their customer’s capital equipment after Dell’s warranty support had expired. By offering Quest’s global IT services coverage, with a dedication to quality and expertise in healthcare IT infrastructure — Quest became a seamless extension to their service and support operations.
The medical manufacturer evaluated both internal operational resource and infrastructure expansion versus leveraging external partnerships to reach their goal for a more scalable and flexible solution while ensuring proper compliance requirements. The optimal course of action was to outsource targeted operations from their current repair facility to Quest International, consisting of the management of service and spare parts management in addition to warehousing their devices with specific temperature and humidity control requirements. These white-labeled solutions were transparent to the end customer, and since onboarding with Quest only took a few weeks — the experience for their customers was seamless. Moving these operations to an outsource partner produced better results and made business sense.
Quest identified their ten most expensive parts with the highest cost factor and began evaluating methods to reduce cost, simply by testing and repairing rather than replacing them. Through this evaluation, it reduced the requirement to purchase new parts and keeping less inventory in stock given Quest’s efficient repair service turnaround time.
By extending the product life of its customers’ IT hardware and investments, the device manufacturer increased their level of service and satisfaction for its customers while creating a positive financial impact on the supply chain, inventory, and product repair services. The device manufacturer can now support its customers’ capital equipment needs long past the expiration of manufacturer support contracts, and can now service their own devices more efficiently.
Utilizing Quest’s 3rd party hardware services to support their IT install base enabled the device manufacturer to reduce costs and streamline service. Quest was able to support its customers’ Dell IT environment more efficiently by supporting extended warranty items at a quarter of the cost from Dell. This support allowed them to continue to support customer environments with legacy infrastructure while improving service and reducing cost.
Quest International continues to help optimize the customer’s parts repair performance on their medical devices. The company’s overall parts replacement spend decreased significantly with the ability to test, repair, and refurbish defective parts and return them into inventory for re-use—a significant contributor to bottom-line improvements.
“Quest has allowed us to centralize hardware support resources and focus on our core competencies of sales, service and after-sales system support,” the VP said. “We continue to look for new ways to expand our relationship and take advantage of the company’s services in ways that can help us contain costs and bring additional value to the table for our customers.”
Quest’s IT hardware support, in addition to their device repair service offerings, proved to be a solution for the manufacturer’s unique challenge, resulting in increased customer satisfaction for their end-users, and reduced overhead from repair cost for themselves.